Across much of the country, the year’s greatest meal, November’s grand, time-honored tradition, seems like the farthest meal from most Americans' minds. That makes sense…on the surface. After all, it’s months away, and unless you’re OCD, calling dibs on who’s hosting, or making sure you’re getting a great travel deal months in advance, it might seem crazy to be thinking about Thanksgiving.Think again. Thanksgiving Day is the most talked about, fretted over, obsessed-upon, discussed, and celebrated meal in America.
According to Google Trends, that Thanksgiving turkey starts weighing on people’s minds heavily enough starting mid-July, when it begins climbing up to mid-October’s 10 percent of peak interest and the full-on panic search for Thanksgiving recipes that follows. Mid-July? That's right. Whether you’re super serious about food in general, or just Thanksgiving dinner, apparently it’s never too early to talk turkey.
Why? As soon as Thanksgiving is over it sneaks up on you all over again. You know how it goes. First you finally take off that winter coat, you fold your sweaters, start eating corn dogs at baseball games, and soon enough you’re wearing shorts, can’t remember the last time you had a cold, and figuring out where you’re going to be watching the fireworks.
Then you’re focusing on weekend barbecues, Fridays after work where you’re sipping wine at sunset, pursuing romance, throwing back beers in backyard or rooftop parties, trying to hold onto the days. All of a sudden the stores are trying to sell notebooks too early, preseason football begins, the World Series is over, and WHAM! Suddenly, it’s the fourth Thursday of November (too close to Thanksgiving Day to not know the date and have to Google "When is Thanksgiving"), you’re rushing around in the kitchen like a crazy person or trying to check on the Lions and Cowboys scores, but fat old Uncle Max has stationed himself by the chip bowl right in front of the TV.
Damn, how did Thanksgiving dinner sneak up on you again?
Truth is, time flying, procrastination, and travel plans aren’t the only reasons for thinking about your Thanksgiving dinner months, even full seasons in advance. Honing skills, hosting decisions, new cooking methods, ingredient and dish experimentation, special Thanksgiving treats — these and several other food and drink-related interests, intrigues, and compulsions can quite literally mean that you should be planning Thanksgiving dinner as soon as you pull away from the table.
The Daily Meal is always ready, thinking about, preparing for, and planning how to best prepare for Thanksgiving dinner — the best meal of the year. Read on to learn the 11 Reasons to Talk Turkey Right Now, and check in with The Daily Meal's Guide to Thanksgiving regularly for Thanksgiving planning, coverage, and everything you need to know from Turkey 101 and every stuffing recipe you'll ever need, to making Thanksgiving vegan, gluten-free, or over-the-top. These tips are sure to help make this November’s meal the best one ever.
This article was originally published on May 14, 2013.